October 13, 1967.
Friday night, 10 PM. Shooting was over at last and the Monkees had a few hours before they had to be at the recording studio at 1 AM.
Three Monkees emerged one at a time from their dressing rooms to the accompaniment of a rhythmic cacophony. Micky was still on the bandstand, playing the same riffs over and over.
"Cheezit, Mick," Mike yelled, "willya cool it on those drums, already?"
Peter leaned against the wall, arms folded. "How does he do it?" he asked, sighing. "He's been banging for two hours straight!"
Davy was holding his hand over his ears. He shouted to be heard over the drumming. "I don't know! He's driving me mad! Peter, could you please...?"
"With pleasure." Peter looked at Micky. His eyes began to glow.
The sticks were pulled from Micky's hands. They flew up and played a short riff on top of his head. He jerked to his feet, roaring, "PETER TORK, I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS!!!" He grabbed the sticks and marched over to Peter. He jabbed a finger in the middle of his chest and snarled, "I was trying to work off a headache, idiot! You made it worse!"
Mike shook his head. "Chill out, Micky. We didn't know." He sighed. "We'd better get going, I told Phyllis I'd call her from the studio."
Peter nodded, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Let's go, then." As one, the Monkees began to move toward the edge of the soundstage.
Suddenly, the bandstand exploded behind them. Their instruments were destroyed, and they were all knocked to the ground by the shockwave.
Peter, who had been bringing up the rear and had taken the brunt of the blast, raised his head and groggily groaned, "An... explosion?"
Micky gained his feet. "Here?! Why? Why us, of all people?!"
Mike looked around for his hat and distractedly answered, "It's a weirdness magnet."
Davy frowned at him. "A what?"
Mike sighed, giving up the search. "A weirdness magnet's when people get powerful, then weird things start happening. AARGGHH!" he screamed. "I paid two hundred dollars for that guitar!"
A second, smaller explosion, and the remnants of the stage became flying shrapnel.
Micky's eyes widened. The shrapnel bounced off his force field.
Davy helped Peter to his feet. "Th-thanks, Micky," Peter stammered, shaking his head to clear the last of the fog.
"You're welcome," Micky said, frowning. "But I had trouble getting my shield up." He shook his head. "I don't dig. I'm not prone to headaches, but I've got one!"
Mike braced himself on the edge of the stage and stretched his neck inside the crater. "Guys, get over here," he called. "You've gotta see this!"
Peter touched his shoulder. "Get outta there, rubberneck -- we can't see for your head!" Mike stood up, returned to normal proportions, and glared as Peter finished, "Besides, you look dumb like that."
"Tork..." Mike began dangerously.
Davy looked into the crater. "Mike, is that shiny stuff what you were..."
Mike sighed and stepped back to the crater. "Uh-huh. If I could get a closer look..."
"Well, then," Davy said, climbing onto the edge of the crater and shrinking to his minimum size of two inches tall. "If someone would give me a hand inside the crater, I'll get you one!"
Mike stretched his hand, Davy gently cradled in the palm, into the crater. Davy found a 1 1/2" piece of metal and touched it. He yelled, pulling his hand away. "Hot! Micky, could you throw a shield around it?"
"Done. Bring it on up."
Mike lifted Davy out, and Davy returned to normal size. The piece of metal, encased in Micky's force field, rested above Davy's palm. It suddenly seemed very small.
Mike sighed. "Doesn't look very impressive, does it?" He gently poked the field with a forefinger.
The slight pressure proved too much for Micky's pain-weakened powers. He groaned and collapsed into Peter's arms. His field collapsed with his temporary loss of consciousness and the metal piece fell into Davy's palm. There was a sickening sizzle and a faint smell of burning flesh.
Davy screamed. Peter telekinetically lifted the metal, and Mike checked out Davy's hand.
"How bad?" Peter asked as he worked to revive Micky.
Mike took off his tie and wrapped it around Davy's palm. "You got it up in time. It's only a pretty bad first-degree burn. He'll be hurtin' awhile, but no damage done."
At Peter's urging, Micky staggered to his dressing room. Five minutes later, he was still there, sitting with his head in his hands. Suddenly his head snapped up, eyes wide in shock. Hey! he thought. The headache disappeared --all at once! What's going on?
*What's going on is a scanner wave, my human friend,* rang in his head. Two figures in black robes and hoods appeared behind him, reflected in the mirror. He gained his feet, gasped, and blinked out.
*The human has teleported!* one of the figures gasped.
*No,* the other replied, *I can sense his thought patterns. He is here. Merely invisible.* It raised what looked like a miniature rifle. * My infra-scope shows me where he is.*It took a dead aim on Micky.
They can see me! Micky realized. Gotta rabbit! He bolted for the door.
Before he could reach it, he heard a sickening thunk and felt a sharp pain in his shoulder.
His last impression before he lost consciousness was a whisper in his mind. *As I surmised, the human regains visibility when consciousness is lost. Prepare him for transport.*
Davy came into Peter's dressing room to see Mike sitting dazedly at a microscope. "Mike? What is it?"
Mike shook his head. "Peter was right," he whispered. "The structures of this metal are like none I've ever seen! Davy... this metal isn't from earth!"
Davy looked in the microscope. After a moment, he raised his head. "You're right!" He looked around. "Hey, where is Peter?"
"He went to tell Micky."
Suddenly Peter burst into the room. "Micky's gone!" he cried, worry and anger warring for dominance of his features. "His dressing room's a shambles... and he's gone!"
The first thing Micky noticed was that he was cold. The next thing he noticed was that he couldn't move.
He opened eyes that felt like they were tied down by lead weights and looked down at himself. Metal shackles on his wrists and ankles held him fast to a cold metal table that was tilted upright. His cheeks became tinged with red as he saw he was clad merely in his briefs. Well....that explains the cold..... Electrodes were attached to his chest, and he could feel one on his forehead.
Micky raised his head to see his captors eyeing him. He opened his mouth to demand an explanation.
One captor held up a hand. *Do not try to speak,* rang in Micky's head. *We have paralyzed your vocal cords.*
No! Micky thought wildly. I'm a singer! I need my voice!
*The effect is only temporary. Yes, we can read your mind, Mikkeedollenz.*
Despite the situation, Micky had to grin at that. It's Micky...Dolenz. Two words. What do you guys want with me?
*You and your friends are different. Your powers are evidence of that. We wish to... use those powers.*
Micky frowned. Use them? How?
*That is unimportant. What is important is our means.* The figure moved aside, and Micky gasped. A second Micky stood there, clad in Micky's clothes. He gazed vacantly at Micky.
*I see our clone is a perfect replica. All he lacks are your mental patterns. * The figure placed an electrode on the other Micky's head. *That will soon change. Begin.*
Pain shot through Micky. He felt himself remembering things, and he saw the clone nod at each memory. Micky glanced over at the figures. They were talking, but he couldn't hear them through the pain. Maybe, he thought, they can't hear me, either.
He looked at the clone and forced a false memory into his mind, hoping the guys would pick up on it and realize this was not Micky.
The pain cut off that memory. Micky prayed it took. He gritted his teeth and did it again.
The pain hit again with a vengeance. Micky prayed again that the second fake memory took. Something told him he'd only get one more shot. He squeezed his eyes shut, and tried again.
The clone blinked, removing the electrode from his forehead. "Where... am I?"
Micky sagged, breathing hard. Please, he prayed, let them find out he's a fake!
*No chance of that.* The voices were back in his head. *Our clone has the ability to transmit all he sees to us. We are monitoring his every move.*
The clone was teleported to the studio. He ran to join the others. Micky saw Davy say something and respond to something the clone said.
Micky grinned, realizing his
captors could only see, not hear. Maybe his plan would work after all!
Producer Chip Douglas roared in frustration. "No, no, no! Hold it!" He charged up to the clone and screamed, "Dolenz, what is with you today?! You've botched five takes on this song!"
The clone shook his head and touched his throat. "Throat still hurts."
Mike blinked. "Your throat? I thought you had a headache!"
The clone frowned. "No, a sore throat. Remember?"
The others looked at each other, frowning. This was weird behavior even for Micky!
Finally, Mike sighed. "Let's skip the singing for now and work on the tracks."
The Monkees picked up their studio instruments. The clone frowned at the drumsticks. Chip groaned. "Now what's wrong?"
The clone chuckled. "You did it again, Chip. Davy's the drummer, remember? I play rhythm guitar!"
"That sinks it," Mike whispered. "Pete, get Chip out of here."
Peter asked Chip to take five while they talked some sense into Micky. Grateful, and nursing a budding headache of his own, Chip fled.
"What's up?" Davy whispered as Peter rejoined them.
Mike shook his head. "Guys," he whispered, "I don't think that's Micky."
"What?" they gasped, and Davy shot back, "Come on, Mike! He's acting a little odd, but ---“
"Odd is one thing. Downright stupid about the smallest details...that's something else altogether!"
"You're certain that's not him?" Peter whispered.
Mike nodded. "If I'm right about this..." He scooped up an extra drumstick. "Hey, Mick!" he shouted, throwing it. "Catch!"
The drumstick hit the clone in the shoulder. Swearing, the clone roared, "Nesmith, you idiot! You could've hit me in the head with that thing!"
Mike calmly asked, "Why didn't you deflect it with a field?"
Pain passed across the clone's face. "Mike," he said, "that's not funny. You were the one who told me my powers were gone for good. You know I can't do that anymore!"
Davy's eyes narrowed. "My apologies, Michael," he said. "You were right!"
"Who are you, Mister?" Peter demanded. "What've you done with Micky?"
The clone looked from one to the other. Then he bolted for the door.
Mike let him
get almost there before making a lasso out of his arm. He
pinned the clone against the wall. "Now... who are you?"
*They've captured him!* gasped the mysterious figures.
HA! Micky cheered mentally. Now they WILL find me!
*Don't sound so confident, Dolenz,* one snapped.
*If they find the implants, they'll be able to track us down!* the other gasped.
*No they won't.* The figure pushed a button. *I'm burning them out.*
Mike shook the clone hard. "I'll only ask one more time... WHO ARE YOU?"
"I..." the clone stammered. "I'm..." He blinked hard in pain as smoke began to curl from the corners of his eyes.
Startled, Mike released him. The clone fell to his knees, screaming. Two loud pops were heard just before fire shot from his eyes.
For the clone, the world turned black.
Peter fell to his knees beside the clone and helped him to his feet. Smoke still poured from the clone's ruined eyes. "What in the world?" Peter gasped.
The clone sobbed, "Cameras in my eyes... transmitting all I saw to my masters! I'm... I'm not Micky... I'm not even human!"
"Care to explain?" Mike demanded.
Incredulous he would even ask at a time like this, Peter rounded on Mike. "MIKE!"
"No," the clone said, clinging to Peter. "It's okay. I've nothing to hide, now. I'll... I'll
tell you everything I know."
Micky struggled against the shackles that held him fast to the board. The electrodes had been removed after the clone had been sent out. He was freezing and he wanted to get out of there!
The figures glided over. *Struggling will do no good. Those shackles are made of a steel-iron alloy.*
"Thanks for clearing that up," Micky snapped.
*Ah. The paralysis has worn off, I hear. *
"Yeah, I can talk again. But why won't you let me see what you look like under those hoods?" Micky gambled that if he saw their faces, he'd be able to report them to the police once he was free. He didn't --quite -- believe they were aliens.
*You wish to see our faces?*
*Very well... but be warned. Most of our people find our features... disquieting. * The hoods came down.
Micky's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. No more doubt remained. These were aliens, all right -- nothing human could look like that without some serious makeup work!
The idle thought crossed his mind that if this was disquieting, what did the rest of them look like! No eyebrows, small ears. High cheekbones, full lips that never opened, wide eyes that were deep blue from corner to corner. Despite the flat figures and deep mental voices, Micky knew. "Holy cow!" he gasped. "Y-you... you're a chick! You're both CHICKS!"
*Terran slang?* one asked, cocking its head.
*Apparently. I do not decipher its meaning. *
Micky leaned his head against the slab he was shackled to and shook it. I'm being held captive by a couple of alien chicks! I don't believe this! He raised his head and his eyes widened. Chicks or not, they're still holding me captive! And that I don't like!
He projected four thin force-fields under the shackles on his wrists and ankles, then expanded them.
*What is he doing?* one gasped, grabbing for its gun.
*His bonds! They're breaking!*
Micky hopped down. I forgot all about my force fields! he chuckled to himself in amused self-disgust as he threw a protective one around himself. Almost instantly, a tranquilizer dart pinged off the field. Hey, that works! No more knockout for Micky! "Now what?" Micky gasped aloud. "How do I get outta here alone?"
The outer door suddenly flew open to reveal Peter standing there, eyes glowing. "You don't have to, Mick! The cavalry's just arrived!" Micky looked over at the door and grinned as the other three Monkees came inside.
Mike handed Micky a shirt and jeans, then turned to the captors and said, "It's four against two. Do you want to fight, or do we talk?"
One of the captors took a deep breath. *All right. We are scouts sent to colonize this world. We intended to use you powerful four as our agents, after we captured you and faked your deaths.*
"Which explains why you blew up the bandstand," Davy said.
*But your friend could not be broken,* the being continued. *He never gave up hope. We could not subjugate him, even after copying him -- even his CLONE turned on us and developed a free will. This bodes ill for us.*
"You can't colonize this world," Peter said. It sounded more like a threat than a statement.
The beings' large eyes lowered in tandem. *No. We cannot. *
Minutes later, the Monkees stood in a field outside LA and watched the small spaceship lift into the sky and streak away.
"There they go," Mike said, shielding his eyes with his hand.
"I hope they make it home okay," Peter said, as he lowered his own hand.
Micky turned to his friends. "What about my clone?"
Davy chewed on his lip before saying slowly, "Uh... Mick... we don't exactly know... how to tell you this..."
Continue To Part Two